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Reloading Berger Bullets


Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes

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Unread 02-11-2006, 08:25 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 810
Re: Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes

I toured the Hornady plant this week, i ordered one of their Hydraulic form dies, $120 for small cases, $137 for large cases. They dont list them in the catalog, you have to call to order them. Seems like the best way to do it.

"Let the good times roll"
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Unread 02-12-2006, 04:06 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: WV
Posts: 139
Re: Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes

This off of Varmint Al's pages. This loader was using rag as wadding for fire forming.

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Unread 02-13-2006, 03:40 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 13
Re: Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes


I used cow once. I added the weight of the cow to the bullet weight to determine the powder charge. I was a carefully weighed out a light load of powder. I used a hammer to open the bolt. The case head had expanded .017"! You read that right. The chamber was bulged.

The gun smith checked the action and decided it was O.k. so he put a new barrel on it. No more cream of wheat for me; except in a bowl for breakfast.
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Unread 02-13-2006, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,524
Re: Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes

The best way is to expand the case up one size with a neck expander $15 and then neck the case down a little at time until the bolt will just close with pressure on the false shoulder. You are basically leaving a small bulge on the bottom of the neck where it chambers and it will form perfectly with a regular load. has a good article on forming cases like this so you can see the false shoulder.

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Unread 02-15-2006, 02:08 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 877
Re: Cow Fireforming and muzzlebrakes

I am fireforming belted magnum brass, and since there is over .020" differance in location from virgin brass to chamber dimensions, i am fireforming them with a false shoulder presicely as mentioned. Ie done a couple hundred on barrels without brakes, this is just the first barrel with a brake on it. I tried fireforming with the standard load, and it dosen't seem to shoot as well as normal... more than .5moa larger, hence the flying, flaming breakfest chow.
Thanks to all who responded, especially for the pic of the break. I think ill just take it off to be safe.
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